Archive for July 2017

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Donald Trump’s enemies are happy that his administration seems to be falling apart at the seams, but Black political scholar
Anthony Monteiro says it’s not just Trump, but the whole capitalist imperial system that is in crisis; and, we’ll hear from an organizer with the New African Black Panther Party.

But first Four years ago, President Barack Obama gave the CIA authorization to arm and train Islamic jihadists to overthrow the government of Syria. Last month, President Donald Trump announced that that the covert CIA proxy war program in Syria has been cancelled. The Trump administration has also concluded agreements with Russia for ceasefires in several regions of Syria. We spoke with Ajamu Baraka, the veteran human rights activist and 2016 vice presidential candidate with the Green Party who has been busy pulling together a Black Alliance for Peace.

In recent years, and especially since the election of Barack Obama, the Democratic Party has equaled and often eclipsed the Republicans in their fervor for war. Few people would have predicted that the Democrats would become more warlike than a right wing Republican like President Trump. Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Duboisian scholar based in Philadelphia, says the U.S. ruling class and its political system are in crises, and Donald Trump is just a system of the decline.

The original Black Panther Party for Self Defense has been defunct for decades, but its ideological children are still organizing, including within the U.S. prison system. The group called the New African Black Panther Party has established chapters in and outside the prisons. One of the party’s prison chapter co-founders, Kevin Rasheed Johnson, has been repeatedly transferred from penal facilities in Virginia, Oregon, and Texas, as the authorities try to curtail his organizing activities. Fellow party members recently lost track of Johnson, who seemed to have disappeared into the vast American prison gulag. Two weeks ago, Johnson’s comrades located him in a Florida prison, where was being held in solitary confinement. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Tito “Fist” Rivera, another co-founder of the prison chapter of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party. He says the Party has formed an interracial alliance.

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: A demand for freedom for members of the MOVE organization, who have been imprisoned for the past 39 years; and, Has the Reparations movement hit a legal dead end? No, says an activist who is pushing
to put reparations on the ballot, in Chicago.

James Forman Jr, the son of the legendary civil rights leader, has caused quite a stir with his new book, titled “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.” Forman is a professor of at Yale Law School. His book details how, during the 1970s and 80s, Black politicians pushed for draconian drug laws and policing strategies that resulted in the massive rates of incarceration in Black America. We spoke with Paul Street, a historian and author who has done extensive research on mass incarceration. Street is quite impressed with James Forman’s work.

Earlier this month, Black Agenda Report published an article by Dr. Jahi Issa and Reggie Mabry, which maintained that the Reparations movement is dead in the U.S, and will stay dead until activists change their legal strategy. Courts have rejected previous suits for reparations for the descendants of Black people enslaved in the United States. Issa and Mabry maintain that it does no good to bring suits against slavery, because slavery was LEGAL in the United States for most of the nation’s early history. The best way for Black people to get a favorable ruling in court, they say, is to challenge the U.S. government’s failure to stop the ILLEGAL importation of Africans after the international slave trade was outlawed in 1808. Kamm Howard is a veteran activist in the reparations movement. He’s on the legislative Commission of NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America, and sits on the steering committee of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations. Howard is organizing a campaign to put a reparations measure on the ballot in Chicago. He’s aware of Dr. Issa and Reggie Mabry’s criticism of previous reparations legal strategies.

Haitian political analyst Pascal Robert is a contributor to Black Agenda Report. Robert recently appeared on the pod-cast, Dead Pundits Society. He said that, for the first time in history, Black people in the United States are “operating in a political space to the right of white progressives.”

Back in 1978, nine members of the MOVE organization were sentenced to life in prison in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. Seven years later, in 1985, the cops bombed the MOVE residence, killing 11 people, including 5 children. The surviving members of the MOVE 9 remain in prison. On August 5 th , in Brooklyn, New York, an all-day event will be held at the House of the Lord Church, under the heading: “39 Years is Too Long: Free the Move 9.” MOVE minister of communications Ramona Africa spoke with Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser. She says the August 5 th event will feature more than just speeches.

Charles Diggs is locked up the Pennsylvania prison system. He wrote an essay for Prison Radio, about how best to return to society all of its “missing citizens” – like himself. Charles Diggs asks the question: Why are so many among the missing?

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: The United States has always supported dictators in the Congo, but now Washington is acting like it wants the oust the guy it put in power; Mumia Abu Jamal says the tide is turning against barbaric medical practices in U.S. prisons; and, we’ll have a conversation with two Black authors that claim Reparations for slavery is a dead issue.

Reparations remains on the agenda of the Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations, which will hold a national conference at Chicago State University, August 12th and 13 th . It’s the 8 year-old coalition’s first national conference outside the East Coast. Kamm Howard is the point person on reparations for Black Is Back. He’s chairman of the legislative commission of NCOBRA, the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America.

Dr. Issa Jahi and Reggie Mabry authored a recent article in Black Agenda Report, in which they laid out what they believe is a new legal strategy to gain reparations for Black people in the United States. Jahi and Mabry contend that current reparations efforts will never be accepted by U.S. courts, and that, for the time being, reparations is dead. We spoke, first, with Dr. Issa.

Mumia Abu Jamal, the nation’s best known political prisoner, took the Pennsylvania prison system to court for failure to treat him and thousands of other inmates with Hepatitis C. And he won, twice. The mass Black incarceration state continues its barbaric medical practices, but Abu Jamal says the tide is turning.

Two million people have been displaced by violence in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Untold numbers have been killed, with many bodies found in mass graves. According to Kambale Musavuli, of Friends of Congo, it is no coincidence that vast quantities of precious minerals have also been discovered in the Kasai region.

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective.

The United States has embedded itself in Syrian territory, after six years of arming Islamic jihadist fighters to overthrow that government. Russia is also in Syria, but that’s at the request of the recognized Syrian government. There is no legal justification for the U.S. presence in Syria, according to Dr. Francis Boyle, the professor of international law at the University of Illinois.

The Black Is Back Coalition for Social Justice, Peace and Reparations will hold a national conference in Chicago, August 12 and 13. The theme of the gathering is “The Ballot AND the Bullet: War and Peace in the Era of Donald Trump.” We spoke with Black is Back chairman Omali Yeshitela, and asked, What’s so different about the Donald Trump era?

The nation’s best known political prisoner, Mumia Abu Jamal, was a radio journalist before he was locked up in the death of a Philadelphia policeman. In an essay for Prison Radio, Abu Jamal speaks of Franz Fanon, the “Revolutionary Journalist.”

Diane, Rwigara, the 35-year old daughter of a businessman believed to have been assassinated by the regime of Paul Kagame, in Rwanda, is perservering in her presidential bid. People that challenge dictator Paul Kagame most often wind up dead, in prison, or in exile. David Himbara is journalist who fled Rwanda to avoid assassination. Himbara says Diane Rwigara has given Rwandans hope. He appeared on Phil Taylor’s radio program, “Unusual Sources,” in Toronto, Canada.

WBAI-FM Radio, in New York City, is being sued by the Empire State building, from whose towers it has been broadcasting since 1965. But the Empire State Building management claims WBAI owes more than 2 million dollars in back rent. The suit threatens not only WBAI, but other Pacifica stations in Texas and California, according to WBAI interim executive director Bill Crosiere

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective. I’m Glen Ford, along with my co-host, Nellie Bailey. Coming up: Black people gathered in East St. Louis, Illinois, and nearby Ferguson, Missouri, to mark one of the nation’s most deadly racist assaults, 100 years ago. Mumia Abu Jamal challenges the prosecutorial racism that put him in prison, 35 years ago. And, the Green Party puts forward a candidate for mayor of New York City.

But first – Rev. Edward Pinkney, the veteran community leader from mostly Black Benton Harbor, Michigan, is breathing free air for the first time in two-and- a-half years. Rev. Pinkney was released from prison after serving 30 months of a maximum ten year sentence for trying to recall a mayor allied with the giant Whirlpool Corporation, which has long dominated his city. The newly released political prisoner recalled his ordeal in the Michigan prison system.

A century ago, white mobs killed hundreds of Black people in East St. Louis, Illinois, in a slaughter that shaped Black politics for much of the remainder of the 20 th century. Back in 1917, when the white media spoke of “race riots,” they meant mass white assaults on Black communities. Many historians now refer to attacks like the one on East St. Louis, as pogroms -- organized racist bloodbaths. Dr. Randy Short was a principal organizer of three days of actions marking the massacre. He says these rituals of mass murder were standard white political behavior, for many generations.

The Green Party’s candidate for mayor of New York City, Akeem Browder, thinks his fight to get on the ballot will be successful, despite the difficulties that small parties face in challenging the rule of the duopoly, corporate parties. Akeem is the brother of Kalief Browder, the young man who spent one thousand days locked up in New York’s infamous Rikers Island jail, before charges against him were dropped for a crime he didn’t commit. Kalief Browder then fell into a deep depression and committed suicide. His brother Akeem’s challenge to Mayor Bill Deblasio is an uphill climb. Diblasio was once seen by many as the great progressive white hope for New York. But, fewer people feel that way now that he’s up for re-election.

The 4 th of July is just another day behind bars if, like Mumia Abu Jamal and many others, you are a political prisoner in the United States. Mumia’s 35 years in prison, much of it on death row, in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer, has been marked by many courtroom dramas, punctuated by massive mobilizations of his worldwide supporters. There was encouraging news on the legal front, last month. Black Agenda Radio producer Kyle Fraser spoke with Dr. Johanna Fernandez, a professor of history and African American Studies at Baruch College, and a key organizer in the Campaign to Bring Mumia Home. Dr. Fernandez explained the complex legal issue that is now before the Pennsylvania courts.

And that it’s for this edition of Black Agenda Radio. Be sure to visit us at BlackAgendaReport.com, where you’ll find a new and provocative issue, each Wednesday. That’s www.BlackAgendaReport.com. It’s the place for news, commentary and analysis, from the Black Left.

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